There was an old man of Orleans,
Who was given to eating of beans;
Till once out of sport,
he swallowed a quart,
That dyspeptic old man of Orleans.
— Edward Lear (1812 – 1888)
Beans, bush or pole, tis the season to plant in the Sonorian Desert. The biodynamic calendar indicated that August 21 and 23 were two good days to plant. So with that in mind off to work we went.
The weekend before planting the garden bed had to be prepared. It had been sitting empty since our garlic harvest except for the nut grass that had sprouted. The plan to put in a cover crop never got done. So with the help of my boys we tried removing the nut grass as best as we could.
Looking through our buckets/boxes of seeds we decided on what to plant: Blue Lake 274 bush beans, Anasazi beans, and El Frijol Mechudo beans.
The night before planting we started soaking the beans in a kelp water.
Wait, why do you soak your beans before planting them? To help speed up the germination process. Inside each dried bean is embryonic bean plant which is enclosed with a protective outer covering. Yes, it really is a seed. The water helps soften up the protective covering so it can sprout easier. The kelp, on the other hand, is like a prenatal vitamin to the embryonic plant providing it with micronutrients, minerals and vitamins that help it to grow and develop into a strong and healthy plant.
Wednesday evening the real work started, planting the beans. With a very narrow window of time it wasn’t the most artful or systematic planting but at least they were in the ground.
Once in the ground the task becomes keeping the soil moist till they sprout. Which raises the real question of how many will sprout since these beans are close to three years old and due to the move were not stored in the best of conditions. Stay tuned for the answer.
Beans are highly nutritious and satisfying, they can also be delicious if and when properly prepared, and they possess over all vegetables the great advantage of being just as good, if not better, when kept waiting, an advantage in the case of people whose disposition or occupation makes it difficult for them to be punctual at mealtime. — The Concise Encyclopedia of Gastronomy (1952).